Monday, August 29, 2011

Snakes On A Plane! And Turtles & Birds, Oh My!!! Almost...

Coiled Snake In Hand
Coiled Snake In Hand
From the “Crazy Things People Take On Planes” files, here are some new additions involving snakes, turtles, and birds.

The first incident occurred at the Miami International Airport (MIA) and involved a gentleman with seven small snakes in his pants. (Insert inappropriate joke here) He also had three small turtles (Insert more jokes here) and they were all stored in lady’s hosiery in the man’s trousers. The snakes and turtles were found using TSA’s imaging technology which allows TSA officers to find potential threat items concealed from plain sight. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers arrived on the scene and took custody of the reptiles. The passenger was arrested on the federal charge of “harboring reptiles in an unnatural habitat.” I made that up… the individual was actually charged with violating the Lacey Act.

Bird freed from sock.
Freed From The Sock
The second incident occurred at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) when two birds were discovered during a pat-down that was being administered due to bulky clothing. They were wrapped in socks and taped to the leg and chest of a woman who was traveling to China. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers arrested the woman on suspicion of smuggling and exporting an endangered species out of the United States.

TSA’s mission of course is not to find artfully concealed wildlife, but items taped to a passenger’s body could very well be explosives or some other dangerous prohibited item. We just don’t know until we check it out. Threats concealed under a person’s clothes remain a concern and this discovery, threat or no threat, once again demonstrates the effectiveness of TSA’s security techniques.

Snakes & Turtles In Hosiery
Snakes & Turtles In Hosiery
Snake
Released From The Hosiery
Birds Taped In Socks
Birds Taped In Socks 
Imagine the chaos that would ensue if a marmot were concealed in a pair of trousers? Kudos to the officers at LAX & MIA!


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